So the point of this is, i found an old essay i wrote on my "Philosophy of Exceptional Learners." I wrote it about 6 month before i would i would find out i was pregnant with my own "exceptional learner." I thought i would share the thoughts i had on these incredibly special and extraordinary children before i became biased by parenting one of these children myself.
"My Philosophy of Exceptional Learners" November 13, 2008
I believe each and every child has the potential to bring something unique and special to the world. Working with and being around children with disabilities for the last several years has been a complete eye opener for me as a person and a future educator. I have fallen in love with the special education field. I believe that all children are capable of growing, succeeding and learning, and i want to be the one to help those children accomplish the great potential i know they are capable of.
Every child is completely different in so many ways, which is why i believe it is imperative that each student is placed in a classroom that provides the highest level o education possible as per there cognitive level. If need be, teachers should make adaptions and modifications so that the student is able to actively participate with their peers and classmates. I believe that students should be acknowledged when they do something correct or good, so therefore i will have a token economy system in my classroom. This will not only promote respectable behavior, but also teach the children the principle o cause and effect. I also believe that support of peers is incredibly important so i will encourage students to work together to provide assistance for one another so that they can improve social skills. I will also encourage independence, never doing for the child what they are capable of doing for themselves. I want my classroom to be inviting to all children; a place where they can feel comfortable and proud to be who they are. I think that through inclusion we can help students become aware of the special needs children be accepting and understanding of their differences. To be able to look past them and see them for who they are, students just like they are.
Just as i expect the students to help each other and work together, working as a team and collaborating with parents and other team members is very important to achieve the best outcome for the student. As a team, set long-term goals and short-term goals that are realistic, not too simple or difficult, so that the student can constantly be succeeding and progressing. I will be sure to always as for and take into consideration the ideas and suggestions of the parents, not only during an IEP (individual education plan), but throughout the year. The parents are the ones who know their child best. I will have a close relationship with parents, so we can be on the same page, they can know that their child is receiving the best education available, and that they feel comfortable to come in or call and ask questions. Through exceptional learner classes and service learning i have gained much knowledge of students with disabilities, how to work with a large variety of them, how the special education classroom dynamic works, and the knowledge about various disabilities and handicaps. I have worked with many children all with different disabilities, some who are high functioning and other that are not. With this background i feel i can be an educator for these children, one who not only cares about them, but one who has faith in them that they can reach far beyond their potential. I hope to be a teacher that sets and example, showing others how special these children are and how much they can accomplish.
My philosophy of special education is not a closed book. Just as learning is a never-ending process that begins the day one is born and lasts throughout a lifetime. As an educator, i posses a great responsibility in helping students reach their potential and to set an example. Providing a quality education to children is my number one goal and task. It would be idea for me to grow as a teacher just as each child grows as a student, because i know that i have so much to learn from these children.